Becoming the Hub – The Health and Fitness Sector and the future of Health Enhancing Physical Activity

HUB LogoIntroduction

The award of the grant from the Commission for this project has enabled the European Health & Fitness Association (EFHA) to undertake a thorough research and consultation exercise to provide the basis on which to make informed recommendations for the most effective means to enhance health via physical activity in cooperation with the resources of the fitness section.
The project has shown the opportunities and barriers there are for the fitness sector to work in partnership with other sectors. It has also looked at how it currently supports international policy and how it can do so more effectively. This project has determined how the health and fitness sector can positively contribute to the drive to promote health enhancing physical activity – and exercise - across the European Union. It has identified and will spread best practice across EHFA’s pan-European network in support of EHFA’s mission of:


The project completed on 28th February 2011 and the final report submitted to the Commission on 31st March 2011.

The process

In taking preparatory actions to bring about this outcome, it was necessary to assess and review what is currently happening across Europe and to make clear how EHFA thinks it can further contribute to raising the activity levels of European citizens. This was done with its stakeholders across the European sporting community, and will identify the opportunities and barriers to mutually supportive partnerships.
Since 2004 EHFA has been developing a sectoral approach to fitness qualifications and now for other aspects of its operation. This is already demonstrating that policies and approaches to raising standards across the industry can improve the effectiveness and contribution that fitness has to offer to the physical activity agenda.

It is increasingly important that EHFA is able to provide advice, guidance and examples of other nations where intervention policies and practices have happened effectively. Introducing advice and clarity to other operators and national associations is crucial in providing capacity to EHFA’s work at the European level. By sharing best practice EHFA can provide a catalytic service to the spreading of cooperation, leading to greater influence and contribution by the broader fitness industry.

The project partners were

  • The European Health and Fitness Association (EHFA)
  • European Observatoire for Sport Employment (EOSE)
  • The Fitness Industry Association (FIA)
  • Verband Deutscher Fitness und Gesundheitsunternehmen (VDF)

As a result of the project, the fitness sector has agreed to a pledge:

Based on the evidence that now exists, the health and fitness sector believes it can provide a crucial role to use its extensive range of resources and skills to engage and stimulate citizens to achieve the EU Guidelines on Physical Activity. The European fitness industry will build a framework of action to encourage mass participation in exercise and activity. This will be based on the highest levels of professional collaboration and inter-agency coordination to develop integrated policies, campaigns and recommendations of best practice to get:


The executive summary, final report, and appendix can be downloaded below;

Executive summary click here

Final report click here

Final report appendix click here

Acknowledgements for the Hub project click here

EU Logo  Becoming the Hub was co-funded by the European Commission